This weekend the Cleveland Browns have a bye. This gives the players, coaches, front office and fans an opportunity to reflect and assess the first four weeks of the season. When I first saw the 2023 season schedule, I at first felt that the bye week came too soon in the season. But going into this this weekend it was the perfect time for the bye week.
Week 4 against Baltimore ended with not only a blowout loss, but we also have key players that need to recover from injuries including quarterback Deshaun Watson with a throwing shoulder contusion. DE Myles Garrett left the stadium in a walking boot. Starting center Ethan Pocic has knee and chest injuries going into this bye week. This doesn’t include losing running back Nick Chubb and right tackle Jack Conklin for the year. Every NFL team has injuries to deal with throughout a season. And football is a rough game. But the bye week doesn’t only give time to heal. It gives time to reflect and assess the early 2023 season.
The Browns’ record is 2-2. It seems like this season is at a crossroads as to which direction it can go. With 13 games to go in 2023 and amongst them are three divisional games, the Browns still control their own destiny. There is still a lot of football left in 2023. After last week’s lopsided loss to Baltimore, there was a lot of emotional reaction and criticism. All of which is warranted and fair. However, let us keep perspective while keeping our emotions in check. We still have a very good NFL roster. In the week prior theRavens loss. This same Browns team defeated the Tennessee Titans 27-3. The Tennessee Titans destroyed the Cincinnati Bengals by the same score of 27-3 the following week. On week 3 of this NFL season, the Miami Dolphins scored 70 points against the Denver Broncos. The following week the Dolphins lost to the Buffalo Bills 48-20. My point is that the NFL season goes from week to week with many different nuances and idiosyncrasies of each individual team and game.
On Sunday, October 15th the Browns will host the San Francisco 49ers, the 49ers are one the best teams in the NFC. It will be a tough test and a new week for the Browns. Quarterback Deshaun Watson is expected to play. DE Myles Garrett also should be recovered from his injury. But we will not truly know any player’s status until an official injury report is released next week.
With this, can everyone take a pill and relax? Is it possible that the decision for Watson not to play last game was not as dramatic as it is being made out to be? Are the play calls that bad or was it the execution of the plays? Or was it a combination of both? The Monday after the Tennessee game, Browns fans felt like a deep playoff run was realistic for this team. Seven days later those same fans want to fire the head coach and the whole front office. All because of the result of one game minus your franchise quarterback. Let me be clear, I am not saying that this head coach and front office will bring us a championship. Nothing is guaranteed and I am not so consumed with pride to never admit being wrong. Also, I will not speculate and provide clickbait with rumors and innuendo. I will keep myself in check and see how the rest of the 2023 Browns season unfolds before making a sound judgment. It would benefit Cleveland Browns fans and the organization to do the same.